Articles Tagged ‘Christmas’

WEEKENDER: Music photography, holiday parties, and Christmas lights to make your weekend merry and bright!

Alight at Night lights up Upper Canada Village until Jan. 5. Photo by Chris Robinson.

12th ANNUAL ALIGHT AT NIGHT FESTIVAL
Sometimes it’s nice to escape the concrete jungle and experience the joys of a quiet, old-fashioned lifestyle. The Alight At Night Festival at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg is the perfect mini getaway, with plenty of winter activities for everyone to enjoy. Nearly one million (we said it: one million!) Christmas lights illuminate the village for visitors, creating a spectacular sight that will surely get you in the festive spirit. Holiday music, food, and a few Christmas surprises await guests, not to mention a life-sized toy train and horse-drawn carriages to ride all evening long. Thursday, December 20, to Sunday, December 23, opens at 5 p.m. $10-$13, children under five enter free. Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Road 2, Morrisburg, www.uppercanadavillage.com.

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WEEKENDER: From an assortment of Christmas concerts to a Canadian take on The Nutcracker, holiday activities abound!

ONE WORLD AWESOME ARTS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Prepare to be amazed! One World Arts is presenting this fun-filled evening of animations, slam poetry, theatre skits, dancing, and much more. Founded in 1972, this volunteer-based charitable organization aims to engage citizens of all ages and spread awareness of world issues through art and media. The Awesome Arts Youth program included 10 weeks of workshops and culminates in this festival, where young artists can show off their talents to the public. Emceed by well-known slam poet Jamaal Rogers, the program also includes performances from internationally-renowned beat-boxer Julia Dales and Triple A, the dynamic drumming group Baobab Youth PerformersYvon Soglo and his amazing hip hop dancers and more. Thursday, December 13, 6 p.m. Viscount Alexander Public School, 55 Mann Ave., www.oneworldarts.ca.

MIRACLE ON 34TH ST.
Who knows, maybe that big white bearded fellow in the mall really is Mr. Claus. The Gladstone Theatre and Plosive Productions present the classic heartwarming holiday tale Miracle on 34th St. Keeping with the Gladstone Holiday Radio Show tradition, this new adaptation features singing, dancing, storytelling, and characters that will enchant show-goers all season long. The performance includes some of Ottawa’s favourite actors, such as Katie Bunting, Tom Charleboix, and Steve Martin, as well as young newcomers Kelty O’Brien and Ben Blacklock. Friday, December 14, to Sunday, December 23. Times/prices vary, see website for details. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., www.thegladstone.ca.

Ballet Jörgen presents its annual showing of The Nutcracker with a Canadian twist. Photo by Pradeep Bhatia.

BALLET JÖRGEN PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER, A CANADIAN TRADITION
For 25 years, Ballet Jörgen Canada has gained national and international recognition for its repertoire of original works and astounding choreography. Once again, the company is stopping in Ottawa to perform the classic tale The Nutcracker – with a Canadian twist. Set to Tchaikovsky’s epic score and including sets inspired by Group of Seven paintings, along with other Canadiana touches, this show creates a truly magical atmosphere. Saturday, December 15, Monday, December 17, and Tuesday, December 18. $40-$50. Shows play at Centrepointe Theatre and Shenkman Theatre, depending on the day. www.centrepointetheatre.com.

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WEEKENDER: Christmas Lights Across Canada, The Story of Holly & Ivy, and a couple non-holiday-themed outings

Christmas Lights Across Canada kicks off on Thursday, December 6. Photo courtesy of the National Capital Commission.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ACROSS CANADA (FREE!)
The holiday season is about to get a little bit brighter. Although we haven’t seen much snow yet, the National Capital Commission’s Christmas lights program is set to illuminate our city with an array of beautiful colours, starting this Thursday night. Head down to Parliament Hill for the illumination ceremony, which will feature Christmas carols, free hot chocolate, and BeaverTails. As a part of the nation-wide Christmas Lights Across Canada celebration – first launched in 1985 – more than 300,000 brilliant lights will be turned on nightly at over 60 locations, including Confederation Boulevard, Parliament Hill, and Jacques Cartier Park. You won’t be able to miss this spectacle, as it makes evening strolls a little bit more appealing on bitterly cold nights. Thursday, December 6, to Monday, January 7, 4:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily. www.canadascapital.gc.ca/celebrate/christmas-lights.

ALBERTA BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER
As Christmas nears, the NAC is chock-full of performances for the holiday season. One such festive event sees the Alberta Ballet – the second largest ballet company in Canada – bring the The Nutcracker to the capital. Choreographed by Edmund Stripe and performed to Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, this 19th century story (and holiday classic) is about a young soldier who’s changed into a nutcracker and helped by a young ballerina who falls in love with him. This tale has enchanted people since the first public performance in 1892 and continues to be one of the most extravagant shows ever put on by the Alberta Ballet. The costumes, songs, dance routines, and a pre-show Sugar Plum Party with crafts and treats will make for a dazzling family outing. Wednesday, December 5, to Sunday, December 9. See website for show times. $10-$95. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

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WEEKENDER: December kicks off with a screening of Home Alone outdoors, the Ottawa Tea Festival, and five other festive events

THE HURON CAROLE
Twenty years ago, actor and philanthropist Tom Jackson brought artists together to spread awareness and garner support for those in need – and the Huron Carole was born. Join Jackson and friends when this nationwide tour – which raises funds for food banks – comes to Ottawa. The event is a project of the Christmas and Winter Relief Association and includes songs and stories of peace and optimism from popular Canadian artists such as Sarah Slean, Del Barber, and Susan Aglukark. Thursday, November 29, 9 p.m. $60, VIP $110. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., www.huroncarole.ca.

Close to 1,000 minerals, rocks, and gems, most from the museum’s collections, are displayed in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s newly expanded Vale Earth Gallery. Photo by Martin Lipman, Canadian Museum of Nature.

VALE EARTH GALLERY RE-OPENING
Geology nerds, take note! After three months of improvements, the Vale Earth Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature is opening to the public once again. The gallery serves up a fascinating experience for young and old, bringing visitors on a journey through the earth’s geological formation, its shaping over billions of years, and demonstrating how geology and mineralogy are important in our daily lives. Some activities on the bill include building a volcano, causing an earthquake, exploring a limestone cave with a dripping waterfall, and making different kinds of rock by simulating geological forces. Now that’s what we call a rock star (ha ha!). Friday, November 30. $12, seniors $10, kids $8, infants (under two) free. Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., www.nature.ca.

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6 Great Canadian Christmas Gift Guides

Canadian Christmas Gift Guides

6 great Canadian Christmas gift guides

Ottawa Magazine has its own gift list, but the festive fun doesn’t end there. Five other publications in our family of magazines are offering great Christmas gift guides. In them, you will find ideas for book lovers (from Quill & Quire), fashion obsessives (from FASHION), kids (from Canadian Family) and even Torontonians (from Toronto Life).

TORONTO LIFE
100 perfect presents »

CANADIAN FAMILY
175 amazing gifts for moms, dads and kids »

FASHION MAGAZINE
500+ holiday gift ideas »

OTTAWA MAGAZINE
50 gift ideas from our editors »

QUILL & QUIRE
The perfect gift for every book lover »

WHERE MAGAZINE90 gifts for your and yours »

SUPER SHOPPER: Ottawa Magazine’s editors kick-start your holiday shopping with their wishlists

It’s one of the perks of the job. Lots of time spent out and about seeing what’s new and neat at the city’s shops. Ottawa Magazine’s editors bring you their gift picks for family and friends, hoping the suggestions will jump-start your holiday shopping list. Today, editor Sarah Brown highlights her picks. Stay tuned in the days ahead for senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne’s picks and, for the foodies, food editor Shawna Wagman’s holiday wishlist.

Photo credits: Editor’s photo by Dwayne Brown; product photography by Marc Fowler.

Editor, Sarah Brown
I’m a pretty efficient shopper. I scout local stores all year — looking for props for magazine shoots, checking out trends, and doing research for the Shopping Guide. So I mentally catalogue — and sometimes buy — cool stuff as I discover it. When Christmas comes around, I don’t waste time browsing — I know exactly what I’m getting for each person and where to find it. One or two power shopping trips and I’m done.

For my sister
Actually, I want these Victorian Flowers Doc Martens for me, but I think I’m too old. So I’d like my sister to have a pair while she’s still in her 30s. $169.99. Neon Clothing, 60 George St., 613-789-4479.

For my mum
We have a tradition of giving each other a new tree ornament each Christmas. This series of Canadian icons also includes a snowmobile, float plane, goalie, Mountie, and polar bear. They’re made in Canada of powder-coated steel. $16.95 each. Paper/Papier, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.

For my sister
She’s a big environmentalist and commutes to work on her bike through most of the winter. (She lives in Kingston, so it’s a little warmer than here.) This Cannondale cycling jacket is really cool. It’s super lightweight and morphs between a vest (shown) and a jacket. The separate sleeves and back are attached with magnets, making it really easy to start with sleeves in the morning and take them off if the day warms up. $119.
Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd., 613-792-1170, and 5607 Hazeldean Rd., 613-831-3604.

 

For my kids
I would love to get a couple of massive beanbag chairs by Yak Pak for the playroom in the basement. They come in tons of fun colours and patterns and are great for lounging in to watch TV. Last year I borrowed two from my neighbour and used them as beds for a couple of kids when we hosted a birthday party sleepover. $149.99. Neon Clothing, 60 George St., 613-789-4479.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my nephew
He’s seven years old and loves facts — one of those kids who reads the Guinness World Records cover to cover. This Dino-opoly game is all about knowing your dino info. You choose your token (I think I’d go with the raptor claw), then start buying up your favourite dinosaurs. Sounds easy enough — but pay hatching fees, develop prehistoric breath, and become nearly extinct, and it gets a bit trickier. $32.95
. Nature Boutique at the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4727.

For my son
We do a lot of canoeing, but my son really wants his own kayak. This Jackson Mini Tripper is designed for distance paddling but also comes with a built-in tow rope just in case he gets tired. On a three- or four-day canoe trip, it might be nice to have one fewer kid in our canoe! Bonus: it weighs just 27 pounds, which is key for portaging. $399.99. Ottawa Paddleshack, 1960 Scott St., 613-725-5259.

 

For my husband
This is what I’m filling his stocking with. He slathers this smoked tomato jam on everything. It’s especially good on slices of Art-is-in Dynamite white topped with goat cheese. It’s made by Just Wing’it out of Merrickville. $8.50 for 250 mL. Available at The Piggy Market (400 Winston Ave., 613-371-6124) and about 10 more fine food stores around town. For a full list of vendors, visit www.justwingit.ca
.

For me
I work with photographers every day and am constantly awed by their creativity. That’s why I like to collect their personal work. Basically, all the artwork on my walls at home is by local photographers whose work I admire. I love Triplicity, a recent self-portrait by Jamie Kronick — first, because One Hundred Foot Line (a.k.a. the big twig) is a gorgeous sculpture that I check out every time I cross the Alexandra Bridge from the Hull side, and second, because of the  shadowy ghosts of Kronick in the foreground. They totally change the mood of the work. $80 for an 11-by-14-inch print and $120 for a 20-by-24-inch print, www.kronickphotography.com.

 

 

THE WEEKENDER: Tree-trimming, Christmas lights, and three other ways to brighten up your Christmas

FIRST ANNUAL FESTIVE TREE DECORATING CHALLENGE
The Museum of Civilization presents its first-ever Festive Trees Decorating Challenge! The holiday attraction features a stunning display of 20 lavishly decorated trees created by local community organizations.  The themes of the trees range from sports to arts and beyond, and visitors are invited to vote for their favourite. Thursday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC, www.civilization.ca.

Christmas Lights Across Canada. Photo credit: NCC/CCN.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ACROSS CANADA (FREE!)
This weekend is the perfect time to pack the family into the car and take a drive around the capital to see the stunning displays of Christmas lights.  Every year, the NCC sponsors an annual celebration called “Christmas Lights Across Canada,” where viewers can see the winter landscape lit up by the glow of more than 300,000 multicoloured lights at over 60 sites along Confederation Boulevard.  Also, don’t miss out on seeing the snowflake projections on the Parliament Buildings at night. www.canadascapital.gc.ca.

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THE WEEKENDER: Shopping, art, puppies, and thoughtful words from Roméo Dallaire

DALHOUSIE STREET SHOPPING PARTY (FREE!)

Remember, ’tis the season for the weekend to start early. This Thursday, the hipster stores on Dalhousie Street host the first of two discount-filled December shopping nights. Participating shops are offering specials, discounts, food, drinks, raffles, and other treats to celebrate the season. Who’s on Dalhousie, you ask? A few of our faves include A Guy A Girl 2 Dogs and a Cat (pet stuff, obviously), Green Light District Design (gorgeous furniture and accessories), Victoire (great clothes!), Workshop Studio (cute jewellery and lots more), and Nest (Euro kids toys). Thursday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Photo courtesy Random House Canada

THEY FIGHT LIKE SOLDIERS, THEY DIE LIKE CHILDREN
Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, the man known for bringing attention to the Rwandan genocide, is now turning his attention to the plight of child soldiers. Now retired and serving on the senate, Dallaire has penned a new book that sheds light on the current situation and provides concrete solutions to eradicate it. Get involved in the discussion and hear the ideas of a man who once faced child soldiers on the battlefield — and decided to do something about this troubling phenomenon. Thursday, Dec. 2. 7 p.m. $15, $10 students and seniors. Tickets available at the door. Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. www.writersfestival.org

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The Weekender: A soulful singer and a couple funky craft sales, plus four other awesome outings

Singer-songwriter Royal Wood plays at the NAC on Nov. 20. Photo credit: Ivan Otis.

ROYAL WOOD
You might have heard singer-songwriter Royal Wood when he opened for national tours with Serena Ryder, Sarah Slean, and David Gray. If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, you’ve encountered his mellow, velvet-smooth voice on the soundtrack. Here’s your chance to hear him on his own well-deserved tour to promote his latest album The Waiting. Those in the know have even gone so far as to put his talents in the same league as Sexsmith and Wainwright. Saturday, Nov. 2o, 8 p.m. $25. National Arts Centre, Studio, 53 Elgin St., 613-755-1111. www.nac-cna.ca

THE ONE & ONLY CRAFT SALE (FREE!)
For those keeners (you know who your are!) who like to start their Christmas shopping in November, the One & Only Arts and Craft Fair is the place to be this Sunday. For one day only, the Sandy Hill Community Centre plays host to an eclectic group of vendors displaying funky jewellery, stuffed toys, purses, artwork, and knitted items. But what really sets this craft show apart is the free buffet of comfort foods and sweets. Sunday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset St. E. www.sandyhillsoneandonly.blogspot.com

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SHOP TALK: DeSerres

Photo by Angela Gordon

The holiday season is too often associated with cleverly purchased gifts and mass produced decorations bought from some big box store. This year, why not shake it up a bit and start a new tradition: a DIY holiday tradition, that is.  From the young to the young at heart, DeSerres offers something for everyone.  Whether it’s crafting tree ornaments with a loved one or experiencing a self-indulgent creative retreat, this huge store can help you out. DeSerres comes equipped with a bounty of kid-friendly supplies, ranging from piles of paper to paints in every shade of the spectrum. With aisles of inspiration ahead of you, what are you waiting for?

PLUS: If you’re looking to put all your new creative ideas to use, head over to the Raw Sugar Café (692 Somerset St. W.) this Saturday, Nov. 20 where the Ottawa craft gurus behind Les Ateliers will be holding a holiday card-making workshop.  For just $10 you can cut, glue, and design to your heart’s content. Refined skill: optional.  Enthusiasm: mandatory.  For more information, visit the Facebook event.

The Look: colourful and imaginative

Perfect for:
the creative crafter or the DIY diva

USP: the online DeSerres gallery, where artists of all ages can share their work with the world

St. Laurent Shopping Centre, 1200 St. Laurent Blvd.; www.deserres.ca